Profile For Andy S.

Andy S.'s Info

  • Location:
    Rocky Mount, NC

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 11 months ago

Andy S.'s Bio

I've been driving 15 years with some flatbed, reefer, hopper, live bird, dry van and tank experience. I have trained and worked in safety departments as well as spending a year in insurance specializing in trucking. Along the way I have managed to get ordained, maintain a marriage for 18 years and counting and have 2 teens. I'm also a Marine vet.

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Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Thoughts on this load

I have my doubts on the legality of the load, but for me I wouldn't haul this load secured like that. I would like to see the first and last coil to see how they are secured and if they have coil racks. I certainly would not run my straps over the top like that, but would run them through the eye and inside the rub rail as you easily can on this load. The outside the rub rail tolerance for DOT is when you can't get the strap through for maybe a load of plates that are rub rail to rub rail or over (there are other examples, that's not exclusive). I absolutely would not have my strap rubbing my binder like that, its's a good way to ruin a strap. The coils look thin so the securement to weight is probably OK, but keep in mind if he is using a steak pocket, they are rated at a lower weight than the "spools". It doesn't matter if you have a 7,000 LBS chain if you are using a 2,500 LBS steak pocket on each side your securement rating is only 5,000 LBS. All though this manufacturer does not have traditional round spools, they do have spools to utilize. I'm also surprised the receiver doesn't mind the coils sitting on the deck like that.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Best company to work for starting out?

If you don't mind getting dirty and you live in the right area, Jordan Carriers in Natchez MS is worth a look. I was a trainer there and part of the safety department. If I were to go back to flatbed, they would be my first call. They pay their students well, better than anyone else I've seen, and start them at .43/mile once they are first seat. They do get you home almost every weekend and 7 major holidays. They are a flatbed company so you will be hot, cold, dirty, wet, etc... The draw back for some is they, as of the time I left them, required you already have school done and have a CDL from your state of residence before coming on board. Before you ask, I didn't leave on bad terms. I left to finish my schooling in hopes of one day being able to hang the keys up for good. Not that this has been a bad career, it's been good to us. I'm just ready to get out of it.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Did my DOT physical today

The hair follicle test is becoming more and more common. I've worked for two companies that did a hair and urine test. The testing is beyond insurance regs, although that is part of it. DOT requires it in accordance with FMCSA rulemaking.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Pocket knives ?

I carry a Gerber Fairburn-Applegate spring assist or an Emerson CQC-7B. It all depends on which one I grab before leaving for the week. I don't go to Canada or CA so I'm not up on the policies there, but I have not had a problem with either any where else.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Best company paid cdl training?

Make sure the training includes school or no school. I'm not aware of a company that pays you to go to school to get your CDL,but maybe some do now. Training pay while with a trainer or mentor varies from CPM to flat rates per day or week. I have found that flatbed companies are willing to pay a little extra for training pay than van & reefer companies are. Keep in mind, just because you are new to the industry does not mean you have to work cheap. Many companies will work you at near poverty for the first year. There are better options. I know of a company in MS paying students $150/ day for every day the student is on the truck or away from home. This includes nights in a hotel while the trainer is at home. Keep searching until you find a company that suits your needs of home time, benefits and pay.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Vegan Trucker.

Most companies you are on your own for training. Some schools have agreements with a restaurant to provide a reduced price, some schools are through a community college or tech school with a cafeteria. As a vegan, you are in the extreme minority. For orientation you may be able to get the company to accommodate your diet, but don't count on it. Honestly, these are not really problems with the ability to have electric coolers or fridges in the truck to keep food, fridges of some size in almost all hotel rooms and many truck stops having enough of a selection to give you choices in between trips to the store. Don't let the little bit of inconvenience at the beginning keep you away from what can be a decent career.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Maverick Transportation

I drove for Maverick for a bit several years ago before they started specialized. The only reason I left was they stated they would not get into specialized hauling so I went to ATS Specialized. My time with Maverick was good with no real complaints. They were dedicated to getting us home on the weekends and very safety conscious. When I went to work for Jordan Carriers I would load/unload with a lot of Maverick drivers and they all seemed content.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Speaking of pay...

There are companies that will pay more than .34 cpm for a first year driver. Jordan Carriers out of Natchez MS will pay .43 for a first year. I think Maverick is at .38 and TMC is at percentage. With either of these you can easily and realistically see gross earnings in the mid $40 K/yr your first year. Just because you are a new driver does not mean you have to work for cheap. I encourage you to research the companies before you land on the first one that offers a job.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Scared of becoming a truck driver. Please help me!

The only way to get over the nerves is to do it. You stated you have the training, you have the knowledge and the motivation. Don't let your mind wander to the what if's, think about the positive aspects. The increased pay seeming to be your primary motivation at this point. 3,500 miles seems high for a weekends home and possible one night a week run. 2,500 to 3,000 seems more likely. Just remember, you can do infinitely more than you think you can do. Keep your head in the game and be safe.

Good luck!

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

International pro star or freightliner cascadia?

I've been in both and really do not like the International. The ride is terrible and the reliability is as bad as the ride. I also don't like the way the seat, steering wheel, dash sits. The Cascadia with the Cummings has a good ride, almost no mechanical problems, strong engine break, quite and currently a 9 MPG average. The downside is the integrated antenna is absolutely worthless.

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